Here's another party-perfect recipe that can be prepared a day or two ahead, with finishing touches added just before serving. This is a big salad, but guests will want seconds. Prep: 15 minutes.
Makes 10 servings
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 small pickling cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 romaine lettuce heart, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 cups thin Arab bread, crackle bread, or toasted pita bread, broken into 1-inch pieces, or unseasoned croutons
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, add remaining ingredients. Toss well, and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer to a large salad bowl, and serve.